Matthew Neville

Plans approved for SeAH Wind’s £300m Teesside offshore turbine base factory

The proposals for South Korean steel manufacturer, SeAH Wind’s £300m, 40-metre-tall offshore turbine base factory at Teesside’s Freeport have received planning approval.

The facility, the largest of its kind in the world, at over 800m in length, reportedly presents a range of design and construction challenges including its scale, low energy design and an accelerated programme.

Upon completion it will offer 1.13 million sq ft of high-quality factory space for the production of monopiles up to 120 m in length, 15.5 m in diameter and weighing 3,000 tons which are used to support offshore wind turbines.

The scheme will see the creation of 1,500 supply chain and construction jobs when work begins in July, along with a further 750 roles when the site is fully operational. Occupying a 90-acre site, this exciting development forms part of the UK’s fast-growing alternative energy sector, responding to the latest Government Energy Strategy.

The facility has been designed to accommodate the production of new extra-large monopiles and will become SeAH Wind’s first such resource outside South Korea.

When fully operational, it is expected to produce between 100 and 150 monopiles per year which will be transported directly from the factory to Teesworks’ new South Bank Quay facility before heading to the North Sea for installation using specialised pile driving equipment.

K2 Consultancy is the project manager, construction manager and cost consultant. K2 has engaged a multi-disciplinary team including Ashton Smith Associates acting as architects, together with Clarkebond as civil, structural and geo-environmental engineers, and building services engineers, Waterman Group.

Nick Coke, director of project management at K2 said: “This is a tremendously exciting project for us building on our strong experience in the industrial manufacturing sector. It gives us the opportunity to deliver a market-leading, world-class and pioneering facility that will kick-start much needed regeneration on Teesside.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen added: “This is a fantastic step forward for SeAH Wind’s game-changing scheme. The first job has been advertised, the plans have been approved and now spades can get in the ground in just a matter of weeks.”

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